The division was originally established at the start of the Super Bowl Era in 1967 as the NFL Coastal division made up of the Rams and 49ers as well as the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Colts. The New Orleans Saints replaced the Colts in 1970 when the AFL and NFL merged.
After playing their inaugural season in 1976 in the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks left for the AFC, only to return during the 2002 division realignment along with the Arizona Cardinals, who replaced the Falcons. The Carolina Panthers spent the first seven years of their franchise in the West before moving to the NFC South in 2002.
The San Francisco 49ers have accumulated 19 division crowns, with the Rams close behind with 17. The 49ers have had many more playoff victories, however, hoisting six Lombardi Trophies to the Rams one. The Seahawkas also have won Super Bowl win while the Cardinals have yet to win a ring.
The NFC West holds the record for having the worst record of a team that won the division title after the 2010 season saw the 7-9 Seahawks make their way into the playoffs.